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Interisland cargo shipments rise as economy improves

By Erika Engle

LAST UPDATED: 12:45 p.m. HST, Feb 19, 2014

Intrastate cargo shipments were up 1.5 percent in 2013, up from 2012, according to a new report from Young Brothers Ltd.

Some 0.6 percent of the annual increase came during the fourth quarter.

"We turned the corner in 2013, but we still have a long way to go relative to the boom period we experienced during the middle of last decade," said Glenn Hong, Young Brothers president, in a statement.

"Cargo volumes started coming back in the second quarter last year and maintained relative strength to finish 2013 with some growth."

For the 12-months ending Dec. 31, 2013, all but one neighbor island port saw increased cargo shipments. Rising volume was reported at Kahului, Maui, 1.0 percent; Hilo, at 2.1 percent; Nawiliwili, Kauai, by 4.5 percent; Kaunanakai, Molokai, by 7.2 percent, and by far the smallest port by way of volume, Kaumalapau, Lanai, saw the largest percentage increase at 20.7 percent.

Cargo volume dropped by 4.7 percent at Hawaii island's Kawaihae Harbor.

Despite mixed economic reports of late, company executives are hopeful "that there is enough fuel in the economy to continue to drive increasing cargo volumes in 2014," Hong said.

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